Friday, March 29, 2024

They Walk By Night

We started off the month of March with a trio of screaming tales of mannequin madness, so let's close it out now with one more! From the March - April 1973 issue of Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion #10, and featuring some seriously crazed artwork by Bill Payne. Not to mention a nice and, yes Brian, related to the story cover by THOIA Golden Age favorite, Nick Cardy! We'll see everyone again shortly in April for lots more!


Brian Barnes said...

I don't remember what comment triggered my mention in the intro!

There's some really great art in this one. I'm always surprised by how much work the snow must be; there's probably some trick to it. Page 3, panel 1, is a really great visual, especially using the white circled by the building on the street. The mixing of the screaming and dialog into the panels is fun and there's the repeated motif of the blue buildings/white center on page 6. The whole white/blue stuff is really striking.

I'm kind of a traditionalist on panel layout so I'm not the biggest fan of the crazy layout here but it certainly fits the lightly outlined chaotic vampire melee.

Just something beautiful to look at. You'd pay your 20 cents and pour over these illustrations multiple times.

Bill the Butcher said...

Not really a fan of speech bubbles melting into captions that waterfall off panels. The art is good though.

Mr. Karswell said...

Brian, you have mentioned quite a few times in comments over the years how some cover art seems to be created from a story title concept, and not based on the actual things that happen in the story. Or am I confusing you with a different Brian Barnes?

Brian Barnes said...

Karswell, Oh yeah, OK. Yeah, that's me! But that's normally relegated to Atlas which was well known for coming up with story titles and then the cover & insides would be produced completely separately, which is why most of the little pictures with the story titles didn't reflect the content.

Grant said...

The art in this story doesn't exactly shout "early ' 70s," but it's easy to notice that the Frankie mannequin at the end is wearing a trendy "Buffalo Bill" type jacket.

It's easy to be disappointed when something on the cover of a comic doesn't match the story. Like when x amount of those "wenches" on sword and sorcery covers don't appear anywhere in the stories.
(If you have sort of a one-track mind that's a good example.)

JMR777 said...

I wonder if this story would have more impact in black and white.

This tale, as it flows, is the kind of tale that an asylum patient would tell, a reasonably fact-based story for one who has lost their grip on reality, a crazed tale to the listener.

This was an excellent pick for a grand finale for mannequin March madness.

Mr. Cavin said...

At some point there was a big shift away from omniscient narration in comics stories. Up until then, panel captions had been exclusively for authorial exposition. "Later, at the Hall of Justice," "Suddenly!," and the like. Even when the panel captions were fully narrating the story, they were in Stan's voice, or the Crypt Keeper's, something like that. But at some point they evolved into an internal monologue of the POV characters themselves, a sort of running diary. Like in this story. It's literary, I guess, a writerly trick of character building. But in this way, captions supplanted the thought bubble. We don't really see those anymore in the modern age. It's obvious this story is part of that modernizing trend. 1973 feels pretty early for this sort of thing, so maybe we have an example of an early adopter here?

Brian Barnes said...

@Mr. Cavin -- Werewolf by Night (yes I will not stop mentioning my favorite comic) was doing that in late 71, and throughout the whole mag. The captions were mostly in the main character's voice. I'd have to look back but I think most of the monster mags were doing that at Marvel (Frankenstein I'm pretty sure did but I don't think ToD did.)